A Beginning and an End

One of the things I liked about being on-the-air in radio and television was that being on was always exciting but there was also a definite ending.

In TV, a countdown to clear.

In radio, the transition to the next song, show or content element.

In the busy digital age, we’re always on – there doesn’t seem to be a beginning because we are always in motion and there is never an end to what we do.

To me, life is a like a show – when it’s on give it 100% and when it’s over, walk away, relax, enjoy and get ready for another day.

Good Enough

Just saying you are is a powerful reminder.

Life happens in digital quickness, we’re up, we’re down, we’re stressed and distracted but at the end of the day why do often feel not good enough.

Never rely on someone else to make that decision.

Just showing up for life, handling its challenges and facing adversity makes us good enough – anything else is just ego.

A Gift from Arthritic Children

When I was program director of a Philadelphia radio station, I raided the prize closet and brought some portable radios (this is before iPhones and iPods) to give to arthritic children at Moss Rehabilitation Center.

I can remember it as if it was yesterday –  Christmas Eve, I was very tired and had all I could do to make the appearance that had been requested of my wife  – she worked there.

The kids were on what looked like skateboards racing up and down the hallways because it was difficult if not impossible for them to move around unassisted and without pain.

Before my visit ended, the nurses put their young patients in bed and I visited one by one to hand each of them a little radio courtesy of our station – they were delighted (of course, I showed them how to tune in to the best station).  They hugged me and were so grateful for something that many of us take for granted because a radio could bring them the world.

Suddenly I was no longer tired.  The children got the radios but I got the gift – the best and most meaningful Christmas that I have ever had.

P.S., our station gave away tens of thousands of dollars-worth of prizes each year to get listeners to fill in their diaries and increase our ratings but this relatively minor requisition was the best investment we ever made.

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Fill Your Mind with Positives

In my NYU Music in the Media Business class, our focus is —  it’s just as important to make a life as it is to make a living.

God knows these young folks are going to be successful in their careers post-college and we want to make sure they are just as successful at finding happiness.

I thought you might be interested in one of the most popular Dale Carnegie principles they commit to work on during their semester.

Fill your Mind with Thoughts of Peace, Courage, Health, and Hope

Because what we think about matters.

And by visualizing peace, courage, health and hope, it is easier to battle anxiety, lack of confidence, the emotional price we pay for stress and the loss of hope.

It is possible to change the daily diet of destructive thoughts that plague all of is at this moment in time.

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Buy a Ticket to Happiness

Arthur Brooks does great writing for The Atlantic on the process of happiness – note that I say process because if we expect happiness to visit us rapidly, it may feel like a long wait.

“There is an old joke about a man who asks God every day to let him win the lottery. After many years of this prayer, he finally gets an answer from heaven: ‘Do me a favor,’ says God. ‘Buy a ticket.’ If you want happiness, reflecting on why you don’t have it and seeking information on how to attain it is a good start. But if you don’t use that information, you’re not buying a ticket.”

Like everything else in life, a plan is required otherwise even happiness is just an accident.

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No Such Thing as Good Advice

There is no such thing as good advice.

Even when someone outwardly asks for advice, they really don’t want it – they want to listen instead.

A better question:  “tell me more”.

Gathering information from all sources – those jaded and with a secret motive to those who want you to do what worked for them – can be helpful.

You are always the decider which means outsourcing your ability to make a decision to anyone else even if they seem to be or claim to be more knowledgeable is useless.

Music is as Addictive as Fast Food

It’s essentially one-third filling and sounds great.

A new McGill University study indicates music can be as addictive as fast food, alcohol or money.

And it’s hard to overdose on it, does not require a prescription and perhaps I am not telling anyone what they don’t already know except this.

Use only as directed every day, every time you want to improve a mood or steady your feelings.  Other studies indicate music can relieve depression.

Sometimes we look too far for something that is right next to our ears – that firing up the neurons in our brain can create happiness and dousing these same neurons can make us  feel down.

Adversity’s Advantages

For the most trying times in history you can find political leaders who met the challenge which is why they are often referred to as great.

On the Republican side, there was Lincoln.  FDR for Democrats – it’s true here and worldwide that hard times breed successful people.

It’s also true in our everyday lives.

A rough patch is often a chance to shine when challenges are met.

A crisis is never the end, it’s always the beginning for those who meet them.

How long we continue battling tells us how badly we want to succeed.

If we can change the way we look at bad luck, hard times and while overwhelming, we will see instead an opportunity to shine.

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The Power of Yes

Can we agree that the words “no” and “can’t” litter our lives in a negative way?

Changing “no” to “yes” can be transformative.

“No” is best useful when used to defend boundaries otherwise “yes” can be empowering when we give ourselves permission to be optimistic instead of pessimistic, happy rather than sad and confident as opposed to uncertain.

If we are willing to become more aware of when we say or hear the word “no”, change will follow.

There is a direct connection between the reducing the number of times we say or accept the word “no” every day and increased confidence.

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Smartphone Stress & Anxiety

There’s a new dental study from Israel that illustrates in another way the high price people pay for owning a smartphone.

  • 54% wake up in the middle of the night compared to 20% who use a phone without an internet connection.
  • Half feel a moderate to high degree of stress due to a cellphone and 22% without internet.
  • The fear of missing out (FOMO) drives the addiction to social media.

Here are some useful ways to take control from the Center for Humane Technology. 

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